A substitute teacher at a Montville, Connecticut, high school has been arrested for allegedly running a “fight club” at the school.
WFSB reported Thursday that Ryan Fish, 23, has been charged by police with four counts of reckless endangerment as well as two counts of risk of injury to a minor, and second-degree breach of peace.
An investigation started by the Montville Police Department in December 2017 found that Fish was supervising the fights, which happened in October 2017, in the classroom.
BuzzFeed News reported that, according to an arrest warrant it obtained, Fish is seen encouraging students to “Engage in the fighting behavior” at Montville High School. The warrant contains profanity in descriptions of some of the incidents.
Four victims, two 16-year-old males, a 15-year-old male a 14-year-old male and one 16-year-old male witness are included in the arrest warrant.
WFSB reported that the four victims told police about the fights.
According to the warrant, police spoke with Assistant Principal Tatiana Patton Dec. 15, who told police that video surfaced of two kids slap fighting each other in the classroom where Fish was acting as a substitute math teacher.
“I would let them be teenagers and let them get their energy out,” Fish told police, according to the warrant. “I will admit that I did at one point egg them on,” he said.
“The truth is I’m an idiot and wanted to befriend them. I’m immature.”
Patton said she met with Fish and Principal Jeffrey Theodoss about the fights. Fish, the warrant said, “responded ‘boys will be boys,’ that he grew up in the country and ‘boys do stuff like that.’” Fish’s employment was terminated Oct. 10, the warrant said.
“As soon as we learned of his involvement in this, we immediately terminated his employment,” Montville Public Schools Superintendent Brian Levesque told BuzzFeed News. "Student safety is our highest priority each and every day. We believe our staff does a great job of protecting the safety of our students each and every day. This situation was very unfortunate, but not indicative of our regular operations.”
The Hartford Courant reported that Fish was arraigned in Norwich Superior Court Thursday. Police set his bail at $70,000. A court clerk said he was released after his arraignment and is to return to court May 8.
State child advocate Sarah Healy Eagan said she is following up with the state Department of Children and Families to see how it is responding to the school district’s “apparent failure to follow the mandated reporter law,” the Courant reported.
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